Fun Activities that Don’t seem like Learning for Kids but are

Some fun activities for children are just that…fun activities. Other activities you can do with your child can sneak learning in with your child not even knowing it.

 Cooking is a Great way to get Children to use Math and more while having Fun

Cooking is something you can do with your children. Yes, it might make a bit of a mess, but it is a great opportunity for your kids to use their brains in a different way. What can children learn while cooking with you?

 Mother and daughter in kitchen together

  • -Math and counting skills  – while measuring, fractions and volume
  • -Following instructions – such as a recipe
  • -Creativity – extrapolating from a recipe that you know, and making a few changes to make it more interesting. With some recipes, you can change some things, but not others – especially in baking – where exact measurements are crucial
  • -Decision-making – how to put together a meal, what main dish, sides, and desserts. Or how to get out your tools and ingredients first, then get cooking.
  • -Knowing how to cook simple items can help you child build confidence in their abilities but make sure they stick with simple things, and are not doing too much unsupervised in the kitchen.

 

There are many sites on the internet and books about cooking with children to help you get started.

 

Gardening is another great way to Engage Children in Learning

Gardening, especially vegetable gardening is both physical and mental. If you involve your child from the very beginning and walk them through the decisions you have to make, that is a big head start on learning. What skills would your child gain by gardening with you?

 A family gardening together

  • -Decision-making and problem-solving – where to place your garden in your yard, or where to expand your garden, (this can even be done on a small scale in a sunny apartment window). What vegetables to choose – based on what the family likes and the sun, soil and moisture you have in your yard. Also, what hardiness zone you are in (what plants will grow in various parts of the country.)
  • -Veggie gardening also helps kids connect with where the food on our table comes from. I remember my young nephew liking French fries, but not believing that baked or mashed potatoes were from the same vegetable.
  • -Gardening is also a lesson in setting and achieving a goal: taking steps along the way, from planting to watering, to harvesting…and in managing expectations – not everything we grow will make it to the table.

 

Again, there are many sites on the internet and books about gardening to give you tips and ideas.

 

Playing Video Games in Moderation has more Benefits than you Think

 

Many parents have a love-hate relationship with video games, on the computer, with game consoles on the TV, tablets and smartphones. They can entertain your child, but often it is hard to pull them away. Yes, we need balance, but the next time you child wants to play a digital game, ask them to teach you how to play and then take turns. Or find a game that you can play together, or one that has two players so you can play at the same time. Some games are created to be educational as well as entertaining. Of course, make sure that the games are age-appropriate for your child before you jump in. But you’d be surprised at how much the brain has to work at some games – even those that are not “educational.”

 

  • -Have them teach you how to play the game. It can give the self-confidence, and by teaching they have to think through what they do.
  • -Educational games make help them learn or use math or vocabulary words or other school-based skills
  • -Problem solving – most games have rules – kids have to figure out a strategy how to play and how to make progress in a game. Usually each level adds new twists, and decisions, to the game.
  • -Decision-making and consequences – many games have interactions and choices that have an effect on the next steps in a game. Doing something questionable, often has negative consequences.
  • -Imagination – kids think about games even when they are not playing. Just like you imagine in a book and what will happen next.
  • -Reading – yes reading! Many games incorporate reading – to learn the rules of the game at least. But often kids get motivated by games like Minecraft to learn more about how to do or build more things in the game. They may ask you to help them get onto the internet and research game guides. Studies have shown that often these game guides are at a reading level higher than they normally read, but they are motivated to read and look up words and concepts so they can play better.
  • -Cooperation – some games are single player, some are cooperative, some are competitive. Each game type can teach kids lessons about these things. But even solo games can help kids make friends…other kids who play the same game.
  • -Even playing board games with your children can help them learn some of the same things.

 

So try involving your children in gardening, cooking and games and let us know the results. What tips do you have for getting your kids involved in these tasks, or when have you seen your children learning, when they didn’t even realize it?

Get your Children Involved in Volunteering During Martin Luther King Day of Service or Any Time of Year

Are you a parent who is still a bit frazzled from having your children home from school over the extended holiday? Why not approach this coming weekend holiday, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a bit differently. Why not get you and your children involved in a volunteer project via the national MLK Day of Service on Monday, January 19, 2015. What is Martin Luther King Day of Service all About? Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s Day, originally a celebration of the birthday (January 15th) of the fallen civil rights leader, has been a U.S. Federal holiday since 1983 and is … Continue reading

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The Pros and Cons of New Year’s Resolutions for Children

New Year’s resolutions for children ages 5 to 12, when done well, can be a positive experience. However, if done poorly, they can set up a child to feel disappointed and inadequate, according to mother of three and family therapist Michele Southworth of the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia PA. Unkept New Year’s resolutions can be even more demotivating for kids, than they can be for adults. “New Year’s resolutions are hard enough for adults. Let’s not model for our children the feelings of making a promise to change that, by February 1, they’ve forgotten or failed; let’s not set … Continue reading

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5 Writing prompts to Keep Children Writing over the Holidays

Time away from school doesn’t have to mean your children stop learning. Sure, give them plenty of time to play and explore new holiday toys and games, but build in a few fun writing exercises too. ALOHA’s Reading | Writing program works to get children to see writing as a fun and enjoyable experience and build confidence at it, rather than having writing being a chore. Have kids write a short note to family members who they only see during the holidays. Have them tell a story of something exciting that happened to them this past year, or tell of … Continue reading

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Tips to Help your Kids Handle Exam Stress

Exam time is upon us, and all parents know that it could herald some stress. Here are some easy tips to help kids handle stress of tests and exams, which would help ease our state of mind as well: Effective study and revision: Work out a study timetable for exam preparation, with inputs from your child. Their participation in planning ensures that they would be equally invested in being responsible and sticking to the study schedule. Encourage your child to be independent and study on their own as much as possible as it is unlikely that you would be able … Continue reading

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How to Ensure Healthy Eating at Exam Time

Exams for kids can turn out to be a time of stress and food might either be exploited or ignored at such a time. While handing out that pack of chips might seem like the easiest solution, it is definitely not the healthy one. Here are some tips on how to help your kids eat smart and fuel their body and brain at exam time: Eating at regular intervals: Rather than 3 heavy meals a day which will leave the kids in a sleepy state after each one, aim to give them smaller but more regular meals over the course … Continue reading

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5 Principles to Help Your Child Excel

We thought we would share the following 5 essential education and life principles to help your children excel as they prepare to go back to school. Teach Your Child to Reach for the Stars - Have them write down their hopes and visions each year. Throughout life we have the tendency to let go of our lofty goals because of fear. Lead them to talk openly about their hopes and dreams. Be supportive. Encourage your child to not give up, especially during challenging times and, especially when obstacles get in the way. Support your children to dream big. Parents can create a … Continue reading

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Preperation for Hurricane Sandy – by Saanvi Bhuteja, ALOHA, Grade 2 student

We had our students write an essay about their experience with hurricane Sandy and got a lot of interesting stories and experiences from them. The following is by Saanvi Bhuteja, Grade 2 who wrote about how they prepared for the storm, that they lost power for “a whole week,” and that her family stayed at her cousin’s house and “had sleepovers” there all week.   At ALOHA we foster learning using fun methodologies. Visit our website for further information about our Mind Math, Reading and Writing programs www.aloha-usa.com  

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Why Math may be one of the basic building blocks for success – Aloha Mind Math

Study of Study

As parents, if you are asked about what skills you think are necessary for your child’s success, you might be inclined to pick Math over even social skills, says this article. Math might win by a small margin according to these polls, but most of us are aware that it is definitely one of the basic building blocks of our child’s education. Here are some reasons to understand why: Forms a basis: Math is a fundamental need for nearly all parts of our lives – from counting the number of steps in our staircase, to shopping for groceries – it is definitely … Continue reading

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Ways to get your child interested in reading

Child Reading

Reading is a skill that is important not just for schoolwork, but can be a very enjoyable after-school activity for your child. Teach your child to read, and you’re opening worlds of stories and characters that can provide many hours of pleasure. Here are some simple ways that give you ideas on how to help a child with reading: Start young: From a very young age, children are attracted to bright and colorful picture books, and even the most active child will sit down for a few minutes to look at one of these. Choose a book which fewer words … Continue reading

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